The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hockey Stick



(The reference in the image is broken. I found the image here. There are lots of versions about.)

Hopefully you've seen this before, but it's worth contemplating now and again.

I also liked this version, though it's more schematic (I don't think it shows real data in detail, but it offers another aspect of the situation to contemplate).

I wonder that anybody is surprised that other hockey stick graphs show up on this time scale. I'm surprised when global trends aren't hockey sticks.

7 comments:

King of the Road said...

Back in the days before the ubiquitous access to the intertubes and certainly before youtube, I saw a film for which I've been searching for the past few years.

It started as a dark mercator map of the world that progressed, iirc, in one hundred year increments and showed a spot of light appearing on the map for each (again iirc) million people at their approximate location.

As I watched, a spot came on here and there, faster and faster, until suddenly it basically flashed into a blaze of white. It was easily the most jarring presentation I've seen of the data represented by the population hockey stick.

If someone here has seen it and can provide a link, or even an old-style source, I'd appreciate it.

Marion Delgado said...

It's days like today I just love your blog, Michael.

David B. Benson said...

Ought to see if you can find a graph of Forester's 1970s work which shows everything going to infinity in 2034(?) CE.

Also some Club of Rome stuff?

Marion Delgado said...

BTW Club of Rome was pretty middle-of-the-road stuff. The person who really went for the high-end scenario was Paul Ehrlich.

His main error was in not giving multiple outcome probabilities, and in getting suckered into a short-term, price-fixated bet with Julian Simon.

NB: When market fundies lose bets, they welsh, and lie, and retool and spin and redefine every word in the dictionary until they create enough confusion that hopefully the masses won't get that they lost. Ehrlich was at least stand-up about it.

tidal said...

More hockey sticks!

There is an essay on New Scientist today from Eric Chaisson discussing the "other" global warming problem that we have. mt highlighted his paper in the AGU a year ago. Another nice hockey stick graphic if you poke around. At least this one comes with an "out"!

rgendron said...

Nice, but some might say these neglected to include one rather large event ;)

http://ldolphin.org/pophist.gif

Nick said...

Michael,that's not a 'hockey stick', it's a giant 'turn left' sign lying on its back!